Insight Into Internship – Part 4

It’s time for another instalment of Insight Into Internship – a brief look at all of the fun/interesting/random things I have experienced in learned in each placement. Today we are looking at my third, and final, Clinical I placement!


Last week I completed my final placement of my Clinical I internship rotation. After spending 3 weeks with adults at the BC Cancer Agency, I was back to working with kids. But instead of going back to BC Children’s Hospital, I found myself at a smaller, slower paced facility called Sunny Hill Health Centre. I was completely unaware of Sunny Hill’s existence until starting internship. From their website:

Children who come to Sunny Hill range in age from birth to 19 years and often have complex medical, physical and developmental needs. Some of the children have conditions affecting physical, motor or sensory development or have acquired brain injury, prenatal exposure to alcohol or other drugs, cerebral palsy, or autism. The unique nature and complexity of their needs may make it difficult to find all the support they need at home or in their community.

As you can see, a very diverse, unique group of patients to get to know. And there was definitely a learning curve – not only did I learn about some more common conditions such as Cerebral Palsy and FAS, I also got to delve into rare conditions such as Allgrove Syndrome, Cardiofaciocutaneous Syndrome, and Wolf-Hischhorn Syndrome (just to name a few). Couple that with various chromosome mutations and deletions, brain injuries, and other developmental conditions, and you have a complex patient group to get to know in a short period of time. I wasn’t sure what to expect, or how I would even react to the patients there, but it actually turned out to be much easier to cope than I thought. Yes, there were some sad stories of children having gone through more than they ever should in their young lives, but the way the care teams work together to find the best way for these kids to grow and develop to the best of their potential was amazing to see.

Another thing I really found fascinating was how the whole family dynamic played into our approach to care goals. Some families were great and open to all suggestions, while others had strong beliefs around feeding and were not willing to comply with all of the recommendations, even if their children was at serious risk of harm by not doing so. It was frustrating at times, but fortunately there were more good families than bad.

How about some highlights?

  • On the first day there we had 3 outpatient visits booked…and they all no-showed or cancelled. Made for an easy work day, but not a lot of learning.
  • I got to see a live videofluoroscopy swallowing assessment.
  • I was able to lead some outpatient counselling sessions, and participate in a family feeding team meeting as the nutrition lead.
  • I got to play with food models!
  • I was able to assess some tube feeding plans.
  • I got to sleep in because the site was a 10 min drive from my house (woot!)

I wish I had a longer list of highlights, but honestly, it was slow paced, and because of the Remembrance Day holiday it was a short first week. Plus we spent some time off site at a workshops for other things coming up in internship. And we had patients no show and cancel! It was also only a 2 week placement, so there just isn’t the time to get as familiar with everything and as involved in things as with my other 3 week placements.

And now for your Instagram Photo of the moment!


Fun with food models! Looks almost good enough to eat, no?

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Categories: Dietetics, Internship, UBC


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  1. Insight Into Internship – Part 5 | french fries to flax seeds - December 17, 2012

    […] Insight Into Internship – Part 4 […]

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